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The Elimimation Weight Loss Diet - Why Is It Harder for Women to Lose Weight Than for Men? (Chapter 14)

Updated on October 30, 2012
The Elimination Weight Loss Diet (Chapter 14)
The Elimination Weight Loss Diet (Chapter 14)


Chapter 14 - "The Elimination Weight Loss Diet"


Why Is It Harder for Women to Lose Weight?

 You often hear women complain that it is harder for them to diet and lose weight than for men. They see their husbands or their male friends who simply stop drinking beer for a while and cut back on the amount of food that they eat and they immediately begin to lose weight. Meanwhile, the women are eating practically nothing and going to the gym once a week and they lose little or no weight.


Is there a logical explanation for why this happens? The answer is yes, it is true, so let us explore some of the reasons commonly given for this phenomenon:


1. Women have more fat cells than men do, which makes it more difficult for them to lose fat quickly. About 27 percent of a woman’s body weight is fat while only about 15 percent of a man’s weight is. Therefore, women have more lipolytic (fat-storing) enzymes, which causes them to store fat quickly and to lose it more slowly than men.


2. Men have more muscle mass than women do and muscle burns more calories per day than fat. Each pound of muscle burns about 10 calories per day. Since a man has more muscle weight, he will burn more calories each day than a woman.


3. Scientists have found that estrogen multiplies the fat-storing enzymes in your body. It is no wonder, then that during puberty and pregnancy are the two periods in a women’s life when she is most likely to gain weight.


4. Men generally weigh more than women and the number of calories required each day is a direct function of body weight. Unfortunately this reason is frequently overlooked, yet it is by far the most important one. Let us look at an example.


Suppose that a 200-pound man and a 140-pound woman both go on a diet. Each one has similar sedentary lifestyles, which require 10 calories per pound to maintain. Both go on 1500-calorie diets. Over an extended period of time, the man will gradually slim down to 150 pounds while the woman will gradually gain weight until she also reaches 150 pounds.


In order for her to lose one pound per week she must lower her caloric intake to 900 calories per day which is pretty difficult to maintain. Please note that in the example above, if both the man and the woman started out weighing 300 pounds, none of this would apply.


Now that I have listed most of the reasons why it is more difficult for women to lose weight than for men, let me list some things that will help a woman to lose weight.


In an earlier Chapter, I stated that "The Elimination Weight Loss Diet " requires motivation, determination and patience. For women, the key word here is patience. Women should expect to lose weight more slowly than men do. The most important thing for women is to not become discouraged and give up. More diets fail because people become discouraged and give up than because the diets themselves don’t work. To avoid this you should:


1. Weigh yourself only once a week at the same time and wearing the same amount of clothes. Particularly for women, water retention adds considerable day-to-day variation to your weight.


2. Record your weekly readings on a chart and preferably on a graph. One picture is worth a thousand words.


3. Wait at least three weeks before deciding whether or not to modify your diet. This allows time for random variation due to water retention to even out.


4. Unless you are grossly overweight, begin by eliminating only 300 calories per day instead of 500. This will be easier to maintain and you will be less likely to give up.


5. Consider increasing your daily activity to increase your caloric consumption by 200 calories per day. This could consist of a walk after supper or taking up a hobby such as bowling or swimming. You don’t have to burn 200 calories every day as long as you burn a total of 1400 calories per week. This change along with eliminating 300 calories per day will allow you to lose one pound per week which is a desirable, sustainable level.


6. Finally, while I do not believe that it is absolutely necessary, feel free to join any support groups that encourage you to stay motivated.


Remember that

a.) "A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step"

b.) " It doesn’t matter what road you take, as long as it leads you to your ultimate destination".



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    • Lizam1 profile image

      Lizam1 5 years ago from Victoria BC

      Thasnks, I look forward to reading your other hubs on this subject.

    • EuroCafeAuLait profile image

      Anastasia Kingsley 6 years ago from Croatia, Europe

      Dear RJSadowski,

      Thanks for your sensitivity. Most women will say it is harder to lose weight. Being the child bearers, the body must have enough cushion to support new life, so that is one problem. However, I have come to a point in my life that I debunk a lot of things that used to throw me for a loop. Always a bit on the chunky side (ala Thunder Thighs) I feel great with a Mediterranean type food plan of veggies, olive oil, bread, cheese, wine and water, and eating more in the day than in the evening. I am naturally hyperactive and fidgety, and walking around I find I can drop a kilo or two with hardly any trouble at all. Not one to wait a week to weigh - I weigh almost everyday "whenever I feel lighter" and track my weight in my journal. Maybe it is harder for us, but - math is math - eat less, walk more, and fat does eventually burn. I love your recipes (a foodie since birth) and perspectives. Keep on writing quality hubs. :) ECAL

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    • rjsadowski profile image

      rjsadowski 6 years ago

      Glad you approve. As a man it is not always easy to appreciate how much harder it is for women to lose weight than for men but with patience anddetermination it is doable.

    • profile image

      RachieH 6 years ago

      Great advice! Very practical and do-able. I agree that it is much better to make small changes that last forever, than to make drastic changes that don't last at all.